As men age, it's natural for their bodies to produce less testosterone. But lower than normal levels of this important hormone can happen at any age. This frequently results in a decreased interest in sex, as well as other symptoms, including extreme tiredness, lack of energy, and even depression.

While scientists haven’t found a tremendous benefit in non-prescription methods touted to boost testosterone, some men do report feeling better after making some of the lifestyle changes discussed below.

Are Natural Methods Effective?

"While the concept of trying natural remedies to boost testosterone can be appealing, the problem is that such approaches rarely make a significant difference in humans," explains Robert Tan, MD, professor of family and community medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. He says that studies have found that natural approaches tend to work much better in animals, and perhaps women, than in men.

Lifestyle Changes to Try

That being said, Tan says the following lifestyle changes might make a difference, particularly for men whose testosterone levels are on the borderline:

  • Lift weights. Tan points out that researchers have found that the process of strength training causes an important regulating hormone, called luteinizing hormone, to rise. This in turn stimulates the testes to produce more testosterone.
  • Step Up Your Exercise. Some doctors have noticed a very short-term increase in testosterone levels in men immediately following a workout. While this temporary increase probably won’t be enough to lift low testosterone, it may help ease very mild symptoms.
  • Sleep Better. One study found that when men don’t get a good night’s sleep, their testosterone levels drop significantly. Men concerned about testosterone levels should go to bed on time and get some solid rest. (The Mayo Clinic reports that most adults need an average of seven to eight hours a night.)
  • Get Enough Zinc. It’s not uncommon for men with low testosterone levels to have deficiencies in zinc. Good sources of this mineral include meat, oysters, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Prescription Treatments

While there’s no danger in giving natural remedies a try, Tan stresses that if these efforts don’t seem to have an affect, men may need to try more conventional treatments, which are available by prescription. These include testosterone gels, injections, patches, implants, and nasal (inhalable), sublingual (under the tongue), and buccal (applied to the gum) formulas. 

Robert Tan, MD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, reviewed this article.


Robert Tan, MD, professor of family and community medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. Email interview, July 16, 2014. 

"How Many Hours of Sleep Are Enough for Good Health?" April 20, 2013. Accessed July 20, 2104. 

"Testosterone Buccal." Medline Plus. Page revised February 15, 2014.